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Old May 22, 2018, 02:32 PM   #40
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Join Date: July 8, 2015
Posts: 747
You need to be careful about cutting down 38 special cases. Eventually there’s some case wall thickening as you go down. And that case wall thickening happens earlier in 38 special cases than you will find for the case wall thickness in a 38 short colt case. Then when you seat the bullet you might end up swaging it and creating some pressure issues or seeing poor accuracy. I think you’re better off buying some 38 short cold or 38 long colt cases from star line than cutting your own.
Also some powders are much more case position sensitive than others. Winchester 231, for example, is quite position sensitive and I have found that it does not yield consistent velocities with lighter bullets because there is so much space left in the case. So a 125 grain bullet loaded to full case length in a 38 special case with Winchester 231 tends to have lots of velocity variation. Titegroup on the other hand is not position sensitive. (But I don’t like it in 38 special for other reasons.) bull’s-eye is pretty good for not being case position sensitive. You can also go with bulky powders like American select. Which is my preferred powder for 38 special and all target loads.
Also as to the comment above, there are lots of revolvers chambered in 9 mm and even one chambered in 380. Most of the 9 mm revolvers are built on the same frames that are used for 38 special and 357 mag. So the cylinder window is the same length. They don’t shorten the cylinder window. Smith and Wesson makes the 625. On this revolver they don’t make the frame or cylinder window smaller but they do have the barrel and forcing cone extend into the window much farther. And the cylinder is shorter to accommodate the 45 ACP cartridge without a lot of bullet travel in the cylinder chamber. Taurus makes a 380 revolver specifically sized to the 380. It is very small. But as is typical with Taurus, there are quality issues that have caused complaints about that particular gun.
I shoot 38 short colts in my 357 mag revolvers all the time. And I have benchrest tested them for accuracy. From what I can tell the travel of the bullet down the chamber before it hits the forcing cone has not made a significant change in accuracy. For example in one of my guns I can usually get a 2 inch group at 25 yards using 38 special handloads. Out of the same gun using 38 short colt loads I can get a 2 1/2 inch group. So unless you’re a bulleye shooter the bullet travel through the cylinder doesn’t matter very much for accuracy.
I do admit that it would be nicer to have a smaller cylinder for concealed carry purposes. But I can’t see anyone building a small snubnose revolver around the 38 short colt. That’s not to say I wouldn’t be very happy if they did. It would be awesome. But no gun manufacturer could make money off of that gun because it would be essentially made only for handloaders. I guess maybe if enough people emailed Taurus and asked them to chamber their 380 revolver in 38 short colt +P+ it could be worth a shot. But don’t hold your breath.
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